Discretionary Housing Payment

If you are struggling to pay your rent then you may be able to receive extra help by applying for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

You can claim a DHP if you already get Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit, but need more help to meet your rental costs.

For more information about how we award DHPs, you can read our Discretionary Housing Payment policy (pdf)

Apply

To apply for a DHP, you need to complete our online form.

When you apply for a DHP, you will need to provide:

  • your last 2 months bank statements for all accounts, showing all transactions
  • proof of any debts you have listed on your application form
  • proof of any medical conditions
  • an up to date rent statement showing any rent arrears you owe

The easiest way to provide the information is to e-mail the proof to hdc.benefits@harlow.gov.uk.

In the email, you need to include your:

  • claim reference
  • name
  • address

You can also visit the Civic Centre and provide this evidence in person.

What happens next

We will review your application once all the evidence has been received. We will write to you explaining the decision and tell you how you will receive payments if you are awarded extra help.

DHPs are generally short term awards to give you time to look at your expenditure. You should also consider looking at other organisations who may be able to help you in the longer term:

Appeals

DHPs do not have any official appeal rights. However, you can ask for us to look at the decision again. To do this, you need to email us hdc.benefits@harlow.gov.uk

When you write to us, you will need to include:

  • the reason you disagree with the decision
  • any other factors that you think are important
  • any evidence to support your request